GVB, the Graz public transport operator, strives to make public transport even more attractive. For this reason passenger information at bus and tram stops and stations within the municipal area of Graz displays the next lines (number of line and final stop) in real-time, each with their actual expected departure times. Since March 2006 all of these 150 GVB information points also display the letter N" or a wheelchair symbol respectively, to show if the particular vehicle (tram/bus) is a low-floor vehicle and accessible in a barrier-free way. This facilitates the planning of the trip, especially where wheelchair users, persons using a walking frame, carrying heavy luggage or passengers with a pushchair are concerned.
Background & Objectives
While all GVB busses already offer a barrier free access only half the tram fleet in Graz is equipped with barrier free carriages. With the purchase of 14 new low-floor vehicles and the successive acquisition of 31 further trams GVB will be 100% barrier free within the next years. However, until then this “barrier-free-info” on all information points, financed within the framework of the EU-project Trendsetter by the City of Graz, the province of Styria and the Grazer Stadtwerke (local public transport operator, GVB) represents an innovative service for wheelchair users, persons with a pushchair and older passengers.>
GVB, as an innovative transport operator, uses the computer-assisted Intermodal Transport Control System (ITCS) since many years. Data from ITCS are also made available to customers in order to make public transport more attractive: Real-time passenger information points at many stops and stations display the real departure times of the next vehicle, thereby enabling passengers to plan their trip in an optimal way. In addition, to real departure times all information points from GVB within the municipal area of Graz also show the Symbol „N“ or a wheelchair sign, respectively, to inform passengers if the next tram or bus is accessible in a barrier-free way. This is particularly advantageous for mobility impaired passengers and passengers with a pushchair or heavy luggage. These real-time passenger information points also display current information about differences to the regular schedule as well as about specific services of GVB, all to guarantee comprehensive information of passengers.
Reliable and comprehensive passenger information in real-time makes it possible that passengers can plan their trips with public transport better and it enables them to utilize possible waiting times for short shopping trips or to choose an alternative route in the case of a hold up. Thus, customer satisfaction and the attractiveness of public transport are enhanced by high quality real-time passenger information.